The trail is free of obstructions, making it easy for running.
The Alder Spring Trail begins roughly .3 miles down the Charquin Trail
off of Skyline Boulevard. The trail breaks off to the left and begins its descent along the hillside. The trail weaves in and out of meadows and woods at a gentle rate of descent. At .3 miles, the trail descends more steeply down a hill and crosses a ravine where water flows in the winter, especially after rainstorms.
The trail emerges from the woods and meets up with the Hawk Ridge Trail
that begins to climb the hillside to the right. The Alder Spring Trail goes off to the left and follows the contour of the hill. Looking up to your right, you can see other runners on the Hawk Ridge Trail
while views of the preserve and surrounding mountains sit off to your left. The trail finally ends at a gate near the boundary of the preserve. From here, your only option is to turn around and run back to the Hawk Ridge Trail
to continue your adventure, or follow the Spring Alder Trail back to where you started.
While the first part of the trail gets a lot of traffic because it can be combined with other trails to form one of several loops, the last .4 miles of this trail are not as heavily traveled due to the dead end nature of the trail, although people on the Hawk Ridge Trail
above you prevent you from achieving complete solitude.
The trail wanders through meadows and forests, so you get to encounter various ecosystems. Animals that are found throughout the preserve can be seen along this trail, like rabbits, deer, coyotes, turkeys, bobcats, hawks, and turkey vultures.